Farm to Early Care initiatives connect young children with healthy, locally-grown foods and support farmers in their communities.  

Farm to Early Care’s three core components include:  

  • Serving locally-grown foods in Early Care meals and snacks 

  • Offering food and farming-related educational activities for children 

  • Organizing food and farming-related family engagement activities 

IATP’s Community Food Systems team works to support Farm to Early Care on multiple levels. From providing technical support to Minnesota Head Start programs launching their own Farm to Head Start initiatives, to leading a statewide Farm to Early Care Coalition designed to connect and engage practitioners, to working with diverse stakeholders to pass legislation supporting Farm to School and Early Care, IATP is a national leader in Farm to Early Care Education (ECE) work.  

Community Action kids
Farm to Early Care
Image of childcare provider with plates of food next to image of adult showing fresh produce to a group of children.
Community Food Systems
Childcare: Fertile ground for healthy young eaters
Community Food Systems
Growing Farm to Childcare
Growing Farm to Childcare

Farm to Childcare Curriculum Package

Farm to Early Care themes can be integrated seamlessly into the classroom to introduce children to local foods outside of mealtimes. IATP developed a comprehensive Farm to Early Care curriculum designed to coordinate food and farming-related lessons with existing classroom activities, including math and science, sensory and dramatic play, and circle time. The curriculum also contains helpful tools, such as farmer profiles and sample newsletters, to engage parents and caregivers.   

Farm to Early Care Webinar Series

In a four-part webinar series, IATP’s Community Food Systems team provides technical support and implementation strategies for those working in early care settings to begin (or scale up) a Farm to Early Care initiative. With webinars specifically tailored to both educators and nutrition/foodservice staff, as well as USDA Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) compliance and local food purchasing, these webinars are designed to address the needs of practitioners in any ECE setting.